The Jacksonville Jaguars looked every bit the part of the inferior team in their Week 3 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals when Blake Bortles and the first-team offense were in the game. John Oehser of Jaguars.com says it's not time to panic because "this was just a preseason game".
Under normal circumstances, absolutely. The Jaguars lost their first two preseason games, but it didn't matter because what you look for in preseason games is how the starters are doing and how individual players are matching up against their opponents.
The Jaguars failed both of those tests on Sunday night against the Bengals. In fact, it was downright embarrassing how the Bengals manhandled the Jaguars on both sides of the ball.
And after halftime, when he was done for the night, Blake Bortles didn't hold back on his assessment of the offense when speaking with Sunday Night Football's Michele Tafoya.
"Well, we played pretty bad," Bortles said. "I do not think we did a whole lot of things. We played bad at every position and usually that is what happens when you play bad -- you do not score a lot of points ... This is our first chance going against Cincinnati and some things did not go our way, but I think just learn from it and be better."
Bortles later went on to say that the Bengals defense didn't really do anything to stop the offense... they just played bad.
It was an honest answer from a visibly frustrated quarterback and it tells me that the takeaway from Sunday night's game against the Bengals is probably somewhere in between Oehser's "this was just a preseason game" and doom-and-gloom.
Can this team turn it on when the curtains go up? Absolutely.
Did the dress rehearsal go about as poorly as it could have gone? Unfortunately, yes.